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Respawn Cycle for the Swamp Cave in Act II[edit source]
The main XP generating creatures (cockatrices, kikimore warriors and kikimore workers) in Act III respawn once a day at midnight. So unlike the Graveir crypt in the sewers in Act II onward, which can be used continuously to level a character, you can't simply exit and re-enter the swamp or the swamp cave to farm decent XP (experience points) non-stop. But if you time your entrances and exits correctly, you can get in at least a couple good runs once per "day" (by the game clock). Cockatrices in particular yield spectacular XP, and just 3 or 4 runs in the cave as an young "Rising Witcher" can move you up a level. Even in the last level of a Rising Witcher I was getting 695 XP per cockatrice. I very easily went up four levels just from a few runs through the swamp cave alone during Act III.
The cockatrices don't appear in the swamp cave until Act III however, so in Act II, the crypt in the sewers is much more useful for adding a few levels. Oddly, the Wyverns in Act II on the Wyvern Island, and Royal wyverns on the same island in Act III, both have knockdown and therefore are more troublesome to kill than cockatrices, yet have a little more than half the number of XP per kill. I have not verified the respawn cycle for Royal wyverns, however they are likely on a similar respawn cycle as the other larger creatures should you want to farm them as well.
With exception of the respawn cycle problem, the swamp cave is also much easier to farm than the Graveir crypt in the sewers in Act II. The cockatrices can be easily killed with just two bursts of Igni, whereas Graveirs may take 3 or more, even at the same level. Cockatrices also don't seem to hit as hard and don't seem to have knockdown. There are six cockatrices in the swamp cave, so as a Rising Witcher you will get approximately 700-800 XP per kill or 4200-4800 XP per 3 min run. That is a lot better than most quests, even if it limited to once a day.
It was quite easy to make it to the level of "Seasoned Witcher" long before completing the quests for Act III just by knowing when the high value respawns occurred and farming them appropriately. Smaller creatures like drowners, drowned dead, and some bloedzuiger spawn much more frequently, but as a Rising Witcher, drowners only yield 1 XP, drowned dead about 10 XP, and bloedzuiger about 15 XP and therefore are a waste of time other than to kill for alchemy ingredients. The midnight spawn also includes many more of the small creatures as well as the high value ones, but there is also a continous spawn of the smaller creatures throughout the day. Plant ingredients also have a much more frequent respawn cycle in the swamp, but of course, are also irrelevant as far as XP is concerned.
I have the enhanced PC version, so I can't verify the spawn cycle for any other platform. --Rpger 21:10, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
- The respawn cycle seems a bit odd. I have had occasions where I cleared the Wyvern Island and they respawned virtually immediately, (during the daytime). I have found aard with stun more useful than igni. It works far more often on cockatrices and necrophages, (does on wyverns but not as often, so igni+sword is better there). Having said that, I don't tend to grind - I might if I am in the area or close to levelling, but otherwise I find it quite dull. I did notice places of power sometimes don't seem to come back online when they should, unless you load a savegame in the area.
- I have also found if you want to speed the game up, don't do herbalism. You save heaps on the books, you get to spend the bronze on something else early in the game when it is more useful, you don't stop at every plant, (anything needed can be purchased), and apart from early in the game, you don't need the orens. In all of my playthroughs, (EE on hard), I never purchased alcohol or oil bases, only those herbs needed for quests, and in act ll, I am able to purchase the armour upon entering town, or very soon thereafter. It's also a bit nicer to not see the plant names everywhere. (from some anonymous user)